My job: making tough decisions

Sometimes you have to make decisions that you’d rather not have to make. Unfortunately, that is part of my job (which I otherwise love). My volunteer job, that is, and it sucks to have people hate you (yes, I’m exaggerating) for something you volunteer to do.

I don’t know how the youth sport system is in your countries. I know that many countries have a school sport system where, if I can believe Ned’s Survival Guide on Nickelodeon, children either make the team or they don’t. We have a different system in the Netherlands. Similar to how you can be a member of a gym, you can become member of a sports club. It’s a volunteer organisation, so people contribute not only money, but also time to, for example, stand behind the counter, drive children to away games or to train other people. My job? I’m in the technical committee, so I’m in charge of the trainers, educating and coaching them and when the season is about to end, make decisions about which children are the best and which ones are mediochre.

That in itself is not so tough, though sometimes you doubt who is best because you haven’t seen children play together. Much tougher is handling the responses of both parents and children concerning their placement in certain teams. People feel they are better than others and should be placed in higher teams. Children would like to play with their friends. There are too many children in the team, there are too few children in the team… The list goes on.

The paradox in having to make such decisions is this: you can never please everyone. There is no way to satisfy all people and to uphold the goal of going for the highest overall level possible at the same time. So we don’t. Of course we try to accomodate somewhat, and people have the opportunity to tell us their preferences (playing with specific people, for example) up front, but the reality is that there’ll always be disappointed children and parents. As long as we support what we have chosen as a collective and have made these choices as fairly as possible, we have done the best we can.

It’s a tough job. Think you can do better? You’re welcome to try 🙂


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